Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Security Management

5/31/2017
07:05 PM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

The State of the Internet Is... Scary

Mary Meeker's annual Internet report contains bad news and more bad news when it comes to security.

Each year around this time, the computer and networking industries anxiously await the release of Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2017 report. Meeker is a former Wall Street securities analyst and now a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. This year, her 355-page report contains news on security trends, and (spoiler alert) pretty much none of it is good.

The major software and service trends are surprising only in their scale and velocity. According to Meeker, the average financial services, banking and insurance company has more than 1,100 cloud applications and services in its current technology portfolio. And that sector isn't alone; cloud applications and services in use range from a low of 893 for, of all things, technology and IT services, to a high of 1,206 for retail, restaurant and hospitality. From a flexibility and business agility standpoint, all this cloud use is a fine thing. From a security POV, there's a problem.

The problem is that every one of these individual applications and services, and every interface between two or more applications or services, represents a new attack vector and possible point of vulnerability. While some cloud applications have made great strides in their security posture during the last few years, many others haven't -- and the scale of the "haven't" side of the ledger is immense.

Meeker quotes the Netskope Cloud Confidence Index numbers to report that, in application areas like marketing and IT service/application management, 98% of all cloud services are "not enterprise ready." That is, they received a rating of “medium” or below in the Netskope Cloud Confidence Index. While that is a terrifying number, users of other types of cloud services have little room to relax since the "best" type of cloud service, cloud storage, is 72% not enterprise ready.

Security risks don't limit themselves to the cloud, of course. Meeker reports that spam volume, especially that which contains a malicious payload, has increased by more than 350% in the last 18 months. Much of that malicious payload is phishing, though we've seen from the recent WannaCry attacks that email doesn't have to ask you for personal information to cause trouble. (See WannaCry Continues at a Slowed Pace and New Insight on WannaCry's Roots.)

The bottom line is that attacks are increasing in frequency and successful attacks are increasing in their damage. What are organizations to do? The perfect solution has yet to be found, but every company should at least:

  • Armor up -- Put firewalls, filters and other necessary defenses in place. And make sure they're consistently enforcing best-practice policies.
  • Encourage paranoia -- Monitor traffic in every direction and understand what is normal and what is not. Don't neglect IoT and embedded systems in your paranoia, either. To be most effective, automate as much of the monitoring and response as possible.
  • Train your users -- Don't click on every attachment that comes through email. Or Twitter. Teach employees to be paranoid and vigilant -- it will pay off in the end.

— Curtis Franklin is the editor of SecurityNow.com. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/2/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9498
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
Apache Guacamole 1.1.0 and older may mishandle pointers involved inprocessing data received via RDP static virtual channels. If a userconnects to a malicious or compromised RDP server, a series ofspecially-crafted PDUs could result in memory corruption, possiblyallowing arbitrary code to be executed...
CVE-2020-3282
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition, Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM & Presence Service, and Cisco Unity Connection could allow an unauthenticated, remote attack...
CVE-2020-5909
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, when users run the command displayed in NGINX Controller user interface (UI) to fetch the agent installer, the server TLS certificate is not verified.
CVE-2020-5910
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the Neural Autonomic Transport System (NATS) messaging services in use by the NGINX Controller do not require any form of authentication, so any successful connection would be authorized.
CVE-2020-5911
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the NGINX Controller installer starts the download of Kubernetes packages from an HTTP URL On Debian/Ubuntu system.